October 4th is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.
As the patron saint of Italy, ecology, animals, and archaeologists, St. Francis of Assisi is remembered as a kind and gentle man who loved animals, nature, and people. He inspired many to embrace the wonder and beauty of all things and beings created by God as he advocated for the equality of the more-than-human world and humanity.
There are many fun ways to celebrate this holy day—with perhaps the most adorable being a Blessing of the Pets worship service. So, we tried our best to narrow it down. Here is a list of eight simple ways for humans of all ages to connect with nature and celebrate the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.
1. Create a zoo featuring your favorite animals
Use simple craft materials, play dough, or blocks. As you build and create, explore the different biomes your animals live in and talk about what things they need to thrive.
2. Visit your local library to learn more about animals you think are weird, creepy, or gross
How does learning more about them change the way you feel towards them?
3. Learn about endangered species
Look up the list of endangered species. Are you surprised to see any animals on this list? How does reading through this list make you feel?
4. Remember species that have gone extinct
Light a candle or hold a moment of silence for species that have gone extinct. What role did humans play in their extinction?
5. Show your pets or stuffed animals they are loved
Find special ways like extra cuddles, playtime, or treats. For pets who have died, remember them. Say their name, look at pictures, and tell stories.
6. Spend time outside
Make a list of creatures you notice, or draw the nature patterns you see.
7. Make a nature-friendly craft
Check out these window decals that help migrating birds stay safe.